Q:

Do prokaryotes have mitochondria?

A:

Quick Answer

Prokaryotes do not have mitochondria. A prokaryote is a cell that does not contain membrane-bound structures called organelles. A mitochondrion is an organelle, but because prokaryotes do not have organelles, they do not have mitochondria.

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Full Answer

Prokaryotes may have been the precursors of mitochondria. The Fossil Musuem notes that, according to Dr. Lynn Margulis' endosymbiotic theory, a certain bacterion may have engulfed another bacterion and incorporated it as a symbiotic organism. In time, the engulfed bacterion became wholly dependent on the host cell to survive. The arrangement was beneficial to both species, so the internalized bacteria was replicated and passed down to later generations. This became the origin of the eukaryotic cell and organelles.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do prokaryotes and eukaryotes have in common?

    A:

    Some common features found in prokaryotes and eukaryotes are that they have cell plasma membranes, cytoplasm, DNA and ribosomes. Prokaryotes include organisms like bacteria and cynobacteria while algae, fungi and protozoans are types of eukaryotes. Although these different types of organisms have certain similarities, there are many more differences.

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  • Q:

    What are the main differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes?

    A:

    The main difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is that eukayrotic cells have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, while prokaryotic cells lack these structures. Prokaryotic cells are the simplest of all living things, and they only exist as unicellular bacteria. All multicellular organisms and higher-order bacteria are comprised of eukaryotic cells.

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  • Q:

    What advantages do prokaryotes have over eukaryotes?

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    Prokaryotes have the advantages associated with greater simplicity, including more rapid reproduction, rapid mutation and adaptation to new environments, and more diverse metabolic systems. They also possess an ability to pass on adaptive genes to other bacteria in the form of plasmids. While the organelles of eukaryotic cells provide distinct advantages, prokaryotes remain the most abundant and ubiquitous life forms.

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  • Q:

    What feature is common to prokaryotes, fungi and plants?

    A:

    Shared features in plants, fungi and prokaryotes include cells, cellular membranes and asexual reproduction. Bacteria and the archaea compose the prokaryotes. Plants and fungi make up the eukaryotes, along with animals and protists.

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